Mar 242017

KARACHI: Keeping in view the challenges ahead, the newly-elected Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) plans to hire a foreign coach for at least three years to build a strong base for future.

Besides training the senior lot, the PBF plans to train players in youth and junior categories through the foreign coach.

“Our basic purpose is to build a strong back-up pool, which the country does not have at the moment,” the PBF secretary Nasir Tung told ‘The News’ in an interview. “The foreign coach we are going to hire will also train the colts and juniors,” he added.

Nasir revealed that the PBF had already discussed the matter with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and had contacted Cuba de Sports and Kazakhstan for the purpose.

“Cuba de Sports has told us that it would send a few proposals,” Nasir said.

He said that the PBF would like to have a foreign coach for at least three years. He added that if a coach was hired for less than three years, the desired results would not be achieved.

He said that it would be a resource-intensive exercise to send a few boxers to Kazakhstan or any other place. Bringing a foreign coach to train 20 or more boxers on home soil is a much better option, he said.

Doda Khan Bhutto-led PBF tried to hire a Cuban coach but it failed to do so because of its strained relations with the PSB.

Pakistan have a few vital assignments ahead this year but Nasir said that the PBF’s real flight towards development of the game would begin at the end of this year. “We have nothing in our kitty at the moment. It is just the start of our tenure and it will take time to put our house in order and then we can work vigorously for the promotion of boxing,” Nasir added.

“In November we will hold National Championship in Karachi with the assistance of K-Electric. That will be the real beginning as we will pick boxers for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to be held next year in Australia and Indonesia, respectively,” Nasir said.

He added that the two tournaments would also help the PBF plan for the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers.

“Olympics is our main target for which we will be doing everything. We have to return to Olympic fold,” the official said.

Pakistani boxers last featured in the 2004 Athens Olympics. They missed the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games.

“Our immediate assignment is the Islamic Games, for which we have begun camps in Islamabad and Karachi. From April 18 we plan to bring the Karachi boxers to Islamabad to organise a ranking event which will enable the selection committee to pick pugilists for the Islamic Games,” he said.

The Islamic Games will be hosted by Azerbaijan in Baku from May 12-22.

He said that several committees had been constituted to streamline the working of the federation.

“We have formed a selection committee whose chairman is Commander Nasir of Navy. I am the secretary while Habibullah Jafferi, Sharjeel Butt, Iqbal Hussain and Syed Kamal Shah are its members,” Nasir said.

“The selection committee will visit the camps and choose the final squad for any international assignment in consultation with the coaches,” he said.

He said that provinces had been advised to send lists of their best boxers and coaches, which would help the federation make comprehensive plans.

Nasir also said Pakistan would feature in the Asian Championships and World Championships this year.

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